In my nine years as director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, I have been privileged to observe CareerTech's continued growth as an effective driver of prosperity in Oklahoma.
What stands out most about our successes? Without a doubt, it's the success stories of CareerTech constituents who are more successful in life as a result of our programs. An example is the fine work of the tech center superintendents who recently solved workforce shortages in aerospace. As a direct testament to their efforts, ASCO, a Belgium-based aerospace company, is relocating to Stillwater and will provide between 500 and 600 new jobs.
Another success story is the training and assistance provided by Western Technology Center in Burns Flat for Superior Fabrication of Elk City. Superior has added 36 welders to its payroll in two years, representing a $1 million increase annually in payroll. Last year, CareerTech worked with more than 6,700 companies in a similar fashion to expand their workforce. Other achievements of CareerTech are the tremendous partnerships formed with common education and higher education. CareerTech served more than 133,000 enrollments through our comprehensive school programs and more than 15,600 comprehensive school enrollments through our technology centers.